Birthday call for immediate release of ailing former Black Panther leader Ed Poindexter from Nebraska prison

Edward Poindexter in his 52nd year of imprisonment for his role as leader of a Black Panther affiliate chapter in Omaha, Nebraska. Poindexter’s bruised face is from daily dialysis treatments. (credit: Jericho)

Friends and supporters of Edward Poindexter gathered today in Omaha to call for his immediate release from the Nebraska State Penitentiary where he is serving a life sentence for the 1970 bombing murder of Patrolman Larry Minard. Poindexter was convicted at a two-week controversial trial in April 1971 for the killing of Minard despite no physical evidence linking him to the crime. The trial was marred by conflicting police testimony; perjured testimony by Duane Peak, the confessed bomber; withheld evidence from Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory; and spurious dynamite evidence from the Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Laboratory.

Poindexter, leader of the National Committee to Combat Fascism, was a target of the infamous COINTELPRO operation directed by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in his clandestine war against the Black Panthers. Preston Love, a respected community leader, led the call for freedom on Ed Poindexter’s birthday.

“We gather here to publicly wish Ed Poindexter a happy 78th birthday, but we rush to mention that Mr. Poindexter celebrates his birthday this year, as he has for the last 52 years, behind bars. Twice as many years as he has celebrated as a free man. He was 26 years old when he went in. He has literally spent 2/3 of his life in prison. We stand today with cheers and tears for Ed Poindexter. Most of us believe that Ed Poindexter, who was convicted of a crime he did not commit, is innocent, and that his trial was rocked with inconsistencies and questionable evidence.”

“We angrily demand that Ed Poindexter be released, and that he spend not another birthday incarcerated, if he lives to that point. Ed Poindexter is very ill, he uses a wheelchair, he receives dialysis six days a week, has repeatedly been denied due process, as it relates to his potential release via parole. Ed Poindexter is a product of the 60’s, and a product of repeated, long standing, unforgiving hate, and lack of humanity on the part of those who think he should die in prison, in spite of the facts of his trial and the facts of his exemplary behavior for 50 years.”

“Ed Poindexter is not a threat to society, except for maybe he is a threat to the conscience and humanity of society. Ed Poindexter should be released. At minimum, the Pardons Board should commute his sentence to time served, and release him.”

Co-defendant David Rice [Wopashitwe Eyen Mondo we Langa] died at the prison in March 2016 while serving his life sentence. Duane Peak, the confessed killer, never served a day in prison in exchange for his testimony implicating Poindexter and Rice. The aged, ailing Poindexter continues to proclaim his innocence, but makes it clear he does not seek sympathy, he seeks justice.

Preston Love summed it up, “Let him out now.”

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